The political landscape will shift once again in the Capital Region in late 2014, as both municipal elections and the B.C. NDP leadership convention loom.
At the City of Victoria, Mayor Dean Fortin intends to keep the seat he’s held since 2008, but said it’s too early to start discussing the election campaign.
“I love this job,” Fortin said. “We’ve accomplished a lot in the past five years and there is still a lot left to do. We’ll focus on getting the job done right and do the job of managing the city. That’s our important focus over the next eight to 10 months.”
Rumours have yet to be confirmed on whether any current councillors will challenge Fortin, but two-time mayoral candidate Ben Isitt said he’s not planning a mayoral run this time around.
“My plan right now is to run for council,” said Isitt, adding he’s keen to encourage new candidates to run for office in November 2014.
“I think it’s really important we have a strong council coming out of the election committed to social justice and environmental protection, both in the city and regionally,” he said.
Coun. Chris Coleman, who ruled out running for mayor, said council has a lot to get done in the next 11 months, and hoped councillors avoid becoming “politically tribal in the run-up to an election.”
“We start dividing ourselves and it leads to political grandstanding,” Coleman said. “We need to pull back and focus on issues at hand.”
In the NDP-dominated Capital Region, there are several MLAs thought to be mulling a run at the NDP leadership in September. Chief among them is Saanich-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming, who brings to the table ample political savvy and youth. Fleming hasn’t confirmed nor denied the speculation.
The B.C. NDP leadership convention takes place in September 2014, while municipal elections occur across the province on Nov. 15.